My name is Evelyn* and a couple of weeks ago I was baptised at the Women’s Correctional Centre where I am an inmate. I want to share my story with you.
I had been having lots of conversations with Robyn, our chaplain. About a month before I was baptised, I started asking Robyn questions about faith.
My baptism was in the chapel and I was dressed head to toe in a beautiful white cape with a bow around the middle that showed that I have been made new in Christ. One of the other inmates made a crown out of flack leaf and marigold and put it on my head before the baptism. I shared my testimony, and then Robyn tipped water over my head.
There were 18 other inmates there and they all clapped and cheered when I finished sharing my story. I know there are about three other girls who want to be baptised too! I’m so excited about my new life in Christ because I have a future now.
Here is what I shared on the day of my baptism. I hope it encourages you.
I come before you today to share with you a piece of my heart and to signify my inclusion in God’s family, to share with you the honour of being born again into a new life with Christ.
It was just an ordinary day for me. In the evening, I felt a prompting to look into the Bible that sat next to my cellmate’s bed. I did not know at the time that the decision I made that day would become one that would forever change my life – one that would bring me life. It would be the beginning of my spiritual awakening and the start of an everlasting relationship with God through Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
Before I found Christ, I was lost in a world that revolved around drugs, pain and more drugs to cover up the pain. I did not think of tomorrow or what my future would hold.
Through Christ, I have found meaning to life. I have found light in the darkest of places and I now hold high hopes for my future, for what I will accomplish with God by my side and for the ways in which I will touch the people that surround me throughout my time here on earth.
The story of how I came to find God is no extraordinary story, it is a story that reminds us that God is always right there, waiting for us to come to him and that he will never forsake any one of us, for his love has no limit. And that, my friends, is extraordinary in itself if you ask me.
Placing my faith in Christ, I intend to fulfil my purpose here on earth as God intended, to live for the Father who brought me life. I will stumble along the way, though I know He will pick me up and lead me in the right direction.
Each night I pray for you all with the same spirit that brings us all together in the end. The spirit that lives within each of us and blossoms graciously when nurtured.
I am so honoured to have been given the opportunity to be reborn in the very place I first came to Christ, baptising me in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I now know that I have found a place of belonging and community, shared by our love for Christ.
- As told to Emily Ferguson (*Real name changed)